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AI Does That, That, AND Lots More

This article was published on December 28, 2022

Your budgets are slashed. You can’t hire additional staff. And you’ve been tasked with growing revenue, adding customers, and reducing current customer churn. That’s when you turn to your never-takes-a-day-off/omnichannel-friendly/where-have-you-been-all-my-life solution. Give it up for AI.

Illustration of a AI chip and Chatbot

Only You Can Prevent Customer Frustrations

“Huh?!?” and “What?!?” and “Again?!?” are some of the milder customer reactions. That’s because they still face age-old frustrations like contacting a business multiple times, having to repeat themselves, or enduring long hold times (get ready for a quiz on the top customer frustrations). No doubt, by the time customers reach a live voice, it won’t be pretty. Correcting these customer-damaging issues takes time and money. AI can help (minus many of the capital outlay and time demands).

For example, AI can power chatbots or virtual assistants through a low-code conversation designer. AI can also integrate with your CRM to extend and enhance your customer engagement. In other words, you can capture and convert opportunities. Here are some typical uses cases:

  • An AI virtual assistant delivers enhanced self-service, routes customers to the appropriate person, and ensures high volumes of inbound calls are addressed during peak business hours or busy seasonal periods.

  • AI powers virtual assistants to eliminate long hold times for common requests, plus smart IVR and chatbots for initial call triage.

  • AI extracts customer data from the CRM to provide context to staff, including data-driven insights to help boost the CX.

Omnipresent Omnichannel

Customers will reach out to a business by phone or website, and then follow up over text. It’s convenient for them — and maddening for you. Even though you have these channels, you may not always be able to staff them (to say nothing of gaining a holistic customer view across all channels). What if you could make each channel SO smart that customers don’t need to jump to different channels? Magic? Sort of — it’s AI once again.

AI brings the intelligence to encourage customers to engage with their favorite channel in ways that work best for them. And when customers can stay IN-CHANNEL to complete their request, they have a better experience.

As an added bonus, the ease of use increases engagement and promotes a willingness to share. This is HUGE. That’s because your customers are the ideal source to flag hidden concerns, such as missing information on a website or a difficult-to-read PDF. These insights can help with continual improvement on your end to (a) make you a CX star and (b) make your omnichannel omnipresent.

illustration of hand holding phone with chatbot on the screen GLOBAL RESEARCH STUDY
Maximizing the Omnichannel CX with AI
Despite recent rapid digital transformation efforts, only 45% of consumers are "very satisfied" with their business communications. That means big opportunities for the companies who get it right. Get the data and learn how AI can help with our 11th annual Global Customer Engagement Report.

AI Is There When You’re Not

Customers follow their own schedule. If this means walking into a store to do initial research, and then going home to make the online purchase in the middle of the night — that’s what they’ll do. Of course, they may also run into one of those customer frustrations during non-business hours … but they won’t wait to complain. Are you ready?

AI brainpower, like chatbots or conversational commerce, operates 24/7. This always-on ability equates to always-on AVAILABILITY, plus a splash of intelligence, automation, and personalization:

Live chats and chatbots

  • Can immediately engage customers to solve quick fixes, triage as appropriate, or schedule a live callback

Conversational commerce

  • Uses AI smarts for two-way messaging, which engages customers in the moment in the channel of their choice
  • Integrates with other departments and insights for ongoing engagement, such as automated seasonal sales promotions or personalized recommendations
  • Integrates with payment systems to convert and complete transactions

AI constantly pulls and shares knowledge and intelligence with your CRM and other back-office systems. The data is a must-have for automated responses. Even more important, this deep knowledge puts the customer back into the experience — and it all starts with a little advanced planning.

AI anticipates questions and nurtures. And this helps businesses be more proactive. Think of it as mitigating customer concerns before they come to life. For example, AI can play a role with both inbound and outbound traffic, pre-identifying issues and then contacting customers before they contact you. That’s not your typical customer journey. Instead, you’ve now given rise to a preemptive, anticipatory, and smart journey.

Just imagine the benefits. You’re no longer bound by store hours. You have a 24/7 customer service engine. And you can engage, nurture, convert, complete sales, and enhance CX around the clock.

A Full Conversation Is Not Always Required

How can this be? According to the Vonage Global Customer Engagement Report 2022, customers present a unique duality. That is, they crave service and they’re comfortable getting it through virtual means. In fact, customers like:

  • The ability to be called back; no surprise — customers will like nearly anything that lessens the dreaded hold time
  • Different ways to reach a business; it’s whatever suits them — phone, webchat, website, chat, in-person, etc.
  • 24/7 customer service and the ability to use virtual agents; sure, customers love a live voice, but may not wait to hear one

Did someone say chatbot or IVR? These AI-powered tools are a great solution when customers need the quick answer. And let’s not forget the automated and personalized elements, which are both helpful with engagement. The result? Less staffing and monetary demands on you, and faster resolution for customers — which also means happier customers.

Quiz Time

Knowing what frustrates customers the most is invaluable. This is especially true as you look to integrate AI to boost your customer journey and engagement efforts.

So take the quiz, discover the top customer frustrations, and learn how AI can help.

By Ryan Yee B2B Marketing Copywriter

Ryan Yee is a long-time copywriter with B2C and B2B experience across agriculture, biotech, finance, healthcare, technology, and more. He still fondly remembers (?) the papercuts from proofing film and sleep deprivation from late-night press checks. He’s a San Francisco native with love for his nieces and nephews, hometown Giants, and anything even remotely associated with food (utensils optional).

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